Richard Jewell is Clint Eastwood’s Best Film since Million Dollar Baby (Blu-ray Review)

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What is reported as fact obscures the truth when “Richard Jewell” arrives on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital March 17, 2020. Directed by legendary filmmaker Clint Eastwood, “Richard Jewell” is based on the true story of the 1996 Atlanta Games bombing. Here is my blu-ray review:

Directed by Clint Eastwood and based on true events, “Richard Jewell” tells the story of the security guard who discovers a bomb at the 1996 Atlanta Games and takes swift, heroic action, saving countless lives. But in a turn of events, he becomes the FBI’s number one suspect, vilified by the press and public alike. Featuring an all-star ensemble cast, including Sam Rockwell, Kathy Bates, Jon Hamm, Olivia Wilde and Paul Walter Houser, Us Weekly calls the film “one of the most intriguing and powerful movies of the year.”


Review

Paul Walter Houser delivered the most authentic and brilliant acting performance based on a real-life person for ALL movies that came out in 2019. If it hadn’t been for JOKER, this film would have likely scooped up that Oscar. Houser’s portrayal of Richard Jewell is so incredible that you tend to forget that this is an adaptation at times because he not only captures the appearance of Jewell but the mannerisms and voice are so damn perfect that it’s frightening. When you see actual archive news footage of Jewell and you then cut to Houser, it’s damn near mind-blowing. That’s why I just dedicated the entire first paragraph to Houser’s acting talent, because my god…

Kathy Bates, who plays Richard’s mother, is also delivering the best work of her career since Misery here. There’s a moment in the film where she gives a speech about her son’s innocence at a press conference and while she’s breaking up, just try to contain your own damn emotions watching her. You can’t do it. She’s so genuine and real and truly a master of the craft that I have no doubts people will remember that monologue forever and it will absolutely be studied in acting schools for a long time. Clint Eastwood has been hit or miss in the director’s chair these past few years but Richard Jewell is a masterpiece on so many levels and I have to believe that this is the best acted film he’s made since Million Dollar Baby.

People remember the 96 Olympic Games bombing but as it turns out, a lot of people still think Richard Jewell DID IT. When he absolutely did NOT do a damn thing other than act like a hero. Eastwood’s film may have come out 12 years since Jewell passed away, but it honors Richard’s legacy and absolutely defines him as an every-man who went to extraordinary lengths to save the lives of potentially hundreds after discovering the bomb. The film is incredibly relevant in today’s climate as well where people constantly are found to be guilty by the public before anyone has a chance to plead their own case. We see how the media screwed this man and his mother’s lives and we also see how the FBI can mess up just like anyone else. It isn’t pretty and you’ll end up HATING both Jon Hamm and Olivia Wilde by the end of Richard Jewell. They did a damn good job playing assholes here – much respect. I’m still angry at them and they were just doing their job as actors.

Richard Jewell also does an astounding job showing the man behind the controversy as both a flawed but loving and kind individual. Eastwood doesn’t shy away from Jewell’s more eccentricities which is what led to the investigation in the first place, but more importantly it shows the audience that even heroes can be a little wacky too. The film is also incredibly suspenseful, playing the entire bomb sequence as if we were watching the latest Mission Impossible film – even though we know what happens, the results and build-up are executed to perfection.

Special Features

  • The Making of Richard Jewell
  • The Real Story of Richard Jewell

The two short bonus segments included on the Blu-ray are quick but essential. I watched them both and loved seeing interviews with the real people, especially Richard’s mother. She mentioned that when she saw Houser dressed up like her son, that gave her the “heebie jeebies”. They were both a little too quick but I’m happy they were included because I found them both excellent.

Rating: 4.5/5

 

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